Monday, August 26, 2013

Checking out the Chicks

Judy was in fine form on Friday, trying on all the hats we could find on the driveways of Salem. She ranged from glamorous

elegant Judy

to cute

Cute cap

to…how about mysterious.

This hat's too big!

She was ready to lead a parade

Ready for a parade

or go trick-or-treating.

Roar like a lion

Some of you may be saying, what the heck is that girl in the background holding? (The one who’s keeping her distance in case these two crazy women are actually dangerous.) She is holding a chicken. A silkie chicken, to be exact.

Charity the chicken

Named Charity.

It was a different sale that had fresh-laid eggs for sale. We each bought a dozen.

Fresh eggs

Right after we met Charity the Chicken we met Chester.

Chester the Westie

Chester’s sale was the one where I bought a nice kite.

Double French military kite

(Zoe wants to know what this thing is in her living room.) Hadn’t flown kites for years until we were at the beach a few weeks ago, and the kite-flying bug has bit us again. This one in a double French military kite. Big French militaries were used in WW2 as man-lifting kites – they used them to get men aloft off battleships to do lookout duties. I was chatting with the guy who sold me this kite, and he said he really wanted one of the big two-line parafoil kites he’d seen at the beach. So the last time they were at the coast he bought the biggest one he could find. “That sucker was dragging me down the beach,” he said. “It about lifted me out of my shoes. I took it back and got a smaller size!” My kite luck held, and the next day I found this guy.

Big flying bug

I have a super bug phobia, but even I can’t be alarmed by him.

What a face

He was originally purchased as a souvenir in Puerto Rico and has been displayed on a bedroom wall. But one of these day’s we’ll let him actually fly. Kites like that.

A couple of the sales we hit on Friday had just unbelievable amounts of random stuff. We wondered if maybe these people were buying up abandoned storage units or something. But they had really good prices. At one, I came away with a brand new twin sheet (we have several twin beds for guests)


for a whole fifty cents. At the other I bought a video (one of these, but can’t remember which!)

more movies

and a vocal-exercises CD for my husband

vocal CD

for a dollar (for both!). Then Judy showed me a mystery object.

hard-working giraffe

Yes, it is a little giraffe thingie. An odd little giraffe, made of pewter

Tin Woodsman tag

who turned out to be an espresso tamper!

espresso tool

My husband does make espresso using his yard-sale vintage La Pavoni

La Pavoni

and he uses a rather elegant rosewood tamp, but maybe he’ll have days he feels like using the giraffe instead. And if not, I’ll put this guy on eBay around Christmas-time to make some whimsical coffee lover’s day.

I was happy with this score.

embroidered case  hand embroidery

The hand-embroidered cover encloses a dozen never-used dinner napkins in a lovely white damask fabric.

D is for Dozen

They’re big. Twenty-three inches square. Enough for the largest lap.

good for wide laps

Yes, that is the letter D hand embroidered on each napkin. No, the letter D does not figure into any of our names. Here’s the thing: our sweet dog Zoe seems to have a vendetta going against any cloth she can get her teeth on. She’s chewed up a large number of dish towels and cloth napkins. We’re getting better about keeping them out of her reach, but she’s a wily creature and still snags them from time to time. So I needed cloth napkins. I got a dozen beautiful ones for – are you ready? – fifty cents. So as far as I’m concerned, the D stands Danged Decent Deal.

Why were they so inexpensive? (I refuse to use the word ‘cheap’ for such nice napkins.) The lady who sold them to me (probably in her 70s) was given a lot of stuff that had been her aunt’s. These napkins were from her aunt’s husband’s first wife so her aunt never used them. And now it was time to clear her home of all the stuff that had been her aunt’s.

So the dozen napkins were fifty cents.

I went back out on Saturday morning by myself. Found some ten-cent magazines and the rest of those DVDs, and met some pets. (No more chickens though.)

Peekaboo  handsome kitty

I picked up a lovely Noritake dinner plate.

Lovely plate  Plate detail  Noritake

Sometimes you want something a little fancy to eat from. It will go great with the napkins. As I was leaving this sale, I paused to chat with an older gentleman and his miniature schnauzer. He struck a pose and said, “Our mustaches match!”

The Chick Magnets

I had to get their picture, of course, and as I did he said, “You know what’s the best thing about a dog like this?” I couldn’t imagine, but he had a ready answer.

“He’s a chick magnet!”

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Who Did You See on that Driveway?

There was Drake the chocolate lab.

Drake the Dog

He was waiting in the car while his owner bought an old Budweiser sign, for the man-cave the two of them hang out in. And a beagle and a freckled sweetie-pup

Nice Beagle  Freckled Pup

and a friendly yellow kitty

Nice Kitty

and a cat named Hummingbird

Hummingbird Kitty

who came from the store down on Commercial Street that’s a combined thrift store and cat rescue. They name their kitties for where they are found, and this one’s mama had her babies by the wild-bird-supplies store up the street. So they all got bird names.

Met a lady who loves flowers. This is her front yard.

Flower Lady's Yard Flowers everywhere

She said whenever her husband brings her flowers, he brings her blooming plants so she can grow them in the yard. He was sitting next to her, helping mind the driveway sale, and you could see he was pleased that his gifts are appreciated.

We saw cocker spaniels with blue tongues.

Blue tongues

Judy and I were inspecting this fabric remnant and I commented on the blue tongues. The lady having the sale said proudly that she is going to be 70 soon, and this piece of fabric was left from a skirt (with matching suspenders) that a neighbor lady made for her when she was four. “So you know how old this is now!” With a story like that, I had to have the fabric. Not sure what I will do with it…but I’ll think of something.

40s Fabric

She was part of a neighborhood sale, but her neighbors had much higher prices than she did, so I also picked up some colored pencils (for a dime!)

Colored Pencils

and a couple more pot decorations, two little marbles on wires. Like miniature gazing balls in my herbs.

Tiiny gazing ball

I met Snow White and her BFFs

Vintage Record

but inflation had hit their price!


There was Judy, trying on hats. She bought this one (for a quarter)

Judy's new hat

and this one made us reminisce about the Easter bonnets we wore in childhood. My main memory is of the elastic under my chin trying to choke me.

Easter Bonnet

I met a couple of embroidered sheep

Embroidered sheep

and liked them so well I bought the sweater. Should be cozy in a few months.

Toasty Sweater

Last week I ended up at a sale that was a reprise of the one last month where I met Elaine. (Hi, Elaine!) This time her friend Margrit was also there. Turns out Margrit had to miss the last time because her husband was having one of those little medical procedures that we all go through from time to time as we get older. He’s not a fan of yard sales, and had already left when I arrived after assuring all of them working on the sale that he would rather have That Procedure again than do a yard sale! Elaine wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything good, and I had to crack up when she pointed out what she said was a box of self-help books. I think she has high expectations for those of us trying to help ourselves!

Self-help book

In our conversation, the topic of a locally-well-known neighborhood sale came up, which was scheduled for this weekend. It’s way on the other end of town, so I’d never been to it (well, they’ve only had it twice since I moved here). So Margrit and I decided we’d go together. Elaine had a prior engagement and couldn’t come (next year!) and Judy didn’t want to start out as early as we did so she said she’d come later and look for us. I’ve been to plenty of neighborhood sales, but this was certainly the biggest one I’ve seen in these parts. We counted the addresses on their map and there were nearly 90 sales, and we made it to a little over 40 of them (Margrit marked them off the list as we went) in a bit over four hours. We were pooped at the end, and over lunch decided we’ll spend the next year in training. So from now on we’re not just garaging, we’re in training!

Our first encounter of the morning wasn’t on a driveway – it was above it!

Balloon Ride

We saw this hot-air balloon as we were nearing the neighborhood, and at our first stop it flew right over!

Balloon coming over

The weird noise we were hearing was the burners going on and off. And the conversation I thought was coming from the street was from the balloon! You could hear every word. If you ever go for a balloon ride, watch what you say! No state secrets were revealed this time though. It was all about how amazing the ride was.

Big shiny balloon  Family ride

My cell phone rang as we were finishing our first street. Judy had arrived at the neighborhood and couldn’t believe all the cars and people. “I’ll never find you,” she said. “I’m going to turn down this street and probably just go home.” “Wait a minute,” I told her. “You just drove right by me!” So she parked her car and we did the rest of the sale together. And talk about who did you meet on a driveway…both of them have lived here for over 25 years, and first one would see a friend, and then the other. Must have happened at least ten times, and when we were heading back to Judy’s car (fortunately we had marked its location on our map or we might still be looking for it) Margrit yelled hi at someone in the street and jumped out of the car. “I have to give her a hug,” she said and darted off. In a minute she was back. “That was one of my best friends. She lives in the Bay Area.” So she saw someone from California walking down the street. Told you this was a well known sale!

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